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StarBulletin.com

Brief asides


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POSTED: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FAST LANE

With summer comes a quicker commute

Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of summer, but for Honolulu drivers, the end of the UH-Manoa spring semester marks the start of an easier commute in the mornings and evenings.

It's a startling contrast, and makes one wonder if there shouldn't be a direct line in the proposed rail transit connecting the university from the outset. It would go a long way in alleviating traffic.

EXPENSE REPORT

Guam saw the money

Business was booming on Guam from 2002 to 2007, according to a Census analysis released yesterday. The U.S. territory in the western Pacific generated $6.2 billion in sales in 2007, up 36 percent from $4.6 billion in 2002.

The spending reflects a surge in tourism during that period, with Guam's retail trade sector accounting for $1.6 billion in sales in 2007, employing 8,219 people and paying $150 million in annual payroll, according to the economic report.

GOING NOWHERE FAST

Tight budgets stunt vacations

All Hawaii residents staying put this vacation season, raise your hands.

Wow, that many?

With times so tight and household budgets shrinking, many seem to be scrapping annual mainland trips in favor of homestays—literally. Or if times aren't that tight, it's a staycation splurge somewhere around the state.

That would be right in line with findings of a new poll by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, a survey center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., which says that fewer than half of Americans are planning to vacation this summer, and less than a quarter of them plan to take a long trip.

That's got Hawaii's hospitality folks bracing for another tough season. Expect some deep discounting. But it's sure to be a long hot summer. Downright dry.